Rachel Maddow explained all the ways the Trump administration is drowning in follow-the-money scandals on Monday, whether its porn star pay-offs or insider trading schemes.
While it was easy to get lost in the incoherent and stunning rambles of former Trump aide Sam Nunberg on Monday, the MSNBC anchor said the past week has also been defined by new revelations related to Trump financial scandals.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 6, 2018
Maddow touched on the scandals:
It’s a lot but basically, we’re reaping a bumper harvest of follow-the-money stories about various scandals and corruption allegations afflicting this White House. And all of the way from Carl Icahn’s stock sales to the money paid to the porn star to presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner stripped of his security clearance now and now drowning in corruption allegations involving multiple foreign countries and also his dad.
As Maddow also noted during her show on Monday, these are the types of corruption questions and concerns we shouldn’t have in the United States, but with Trump in the White House, these controversies present themselves on what feels like a daily basis.
Insider trading scheme?
Just days ago, it was reported that former Trump adviser Carl Icahn sold off millions in steel stocks right before the president shocked his own party – and Wall Street investors – by announcing new tariffs on steel imports.
As I noted over the weekend, “Either one of Trump’s close friends is really good at predicting what seemingly nobody expected, or he had advance knowledge of it.”
To nobody’s surprise, Icahn and Trump reportedly still talk regularly.
Pornstar pay-off scandal isn’t going away
Another story that isn’t going away, which Maddow touched on, is the payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election. This week, the exact timing of the payment to Daniels was revealed by the Washington Post.
According to the Post, not only did Daniels threaten to go public about her relationship with Trump, but the president’s lawyer Michael Cohen scrambled to pay her $130,000 just days before the 2016 presidential election, on Oct. 27, 2016.
Several FEC complaints claim the payoff could have violated campaign laws because it was clearly an effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, and it was not reported as an in-kind donation.
Kushner’s could be shaping foreign policy to benefit his family companies
In another bombshell reported over the past week, presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family business was loaned over $500 million after Kushner had White House meetings with two companies. Given the timing and amount of these loans, these creditors could have been seeking influence in the administration.
Of course, that report followed the news that Kushner lost access to top-secret intelligence. Still, the administration has said that Kushner continues to play a large role within the administration. Alone, the fact that he is even allowed in the White House is troubling.
In itself, just one of these scandals is enough to significantly damage an administration. Some of them would sink a presidency altogether. In the Trump era, though, we have become so accustomed to scandal and corruption that one controversial episode gets lost in a cyclone of others.
As Rachel Maddow does on a nightly basis, it’s important for the media to keep reminding the public that this president and his cloud of corruption are not normal or acceptable.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.